Kuwait-University-Journal-of-Law-header
Search
Journal of Law

Previous Issues

Advance Search
Year : From To Vol
Issue Discipline:
Author

Volume :35 Issue : 140 2017      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Fashioning Orlando: Fantastic Irony and Gender Performativity in Virginia Woolf's Orlando.

Auther : Ahmed Banisalamah

Virginia Woolf's novel, Orlando, offers a bold vision of the powerful effects of taking control of one's fashion and, quite literally, trans-gendering one's identity. The novel follows Woolf's title character through a series of shifts in gender, time, and personal identity so fluidly. The story is part fantasy, part social critique, and part ironic positivity and hope for the future. As the character Orlando moves effortlessly from male to female to androgyny and back again, stopping only where s/he chooses, and through several centuries of time and across Europe and through Asia Minor (and back again), the reader is given a sense of the power of fashioning oneself. This can and should be read, I argue, in at least two senses: in the first place, Orlando dons and doffs and changes clothing to suit his/her needs and desires for different gender identities. In the second place, we can read
''fashioning'' in the constructive sense: Orlando fashions Orlando as a carpenter fashions a table. By taking control of this double sense of fashioning, Orlando offers a powerful statement, if only through the irony of the impossibility of the whole thing, on the effect of self-agency through gender performativity and deliberate creative fashioning. Since changing one's gender identity through fashioning is impossible in real life, Woolf's text must be seen as ironic, offering a vision of life exactly opposite of reality, but a vision that is nevertheless hopeful because at least here, in her fiction, such a life is possible.

Journal of Law
Journal of Law

You are Visitor No.

103004

Journal of Law
Journal of Law
Tell your friendsJournal of Law
Journal of Law
Journal of Law

Last Updated

Dec 08, 2019

Journal of Law
Journal of Law
Journal of Law

Please enter your email Here to receive our news

Journal of Law